Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why the Wii Will Fall by the Wayside

Lets set the record straight, the Nintendo system is a kid system pure and simple. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a moron. If you don't believe me, just let the greatest games in the Nintendo history speak for me - Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, SuperSmash Bros are all directed towards kids. Sure there have been some exceptions (GoldenEye, the Zelda series) but as the popular saying goes - it is what it is.

I don't have a problem with this - kids need simple, fun games to play and I'm not cool with my 12-year old playing Resident Evil. I don't want him joining the Trenchcoat Mafia when he's in high school. My issue with Nintendo is two fold, they're foolishly reaching out to older gamers and that hideous looking controller is an abomination.

Now normally I'm all for a gaming company taking risks (Microsoft sure took one by jumping into the video game console market in the first place) but why can't Nintendo leave well enough alone and stick with what works. They own the 8-15 year old age bracket, so why confuse consumers with un-Nintendo like titles such as Project Hammer and Disaster Day of Crisis, obvious attempts at reaching the adult market. Isn't it already a crowded enough place with the PS3 and Xbox 360? You have a niche Nintendo, you are unique, play on that. Use the family angle, the other two companies can't.

As for the controller...Nintendo owes me some money. I was checking out the Nintendo Wii website and they called it the "Nunchuk Controller". This is what I called it on this blog February 8th. I expect some royalties Mr. Iwata! Besides thieving the name, I just don't see how this controller will be appealing to adults. Much like the Eye Toy appeals to kids because its amusing to see yourself jumping up and down on your TV, waving around a controller is only going to be fun for the youngin's. The average gamer is 30 years old and I don't see this being a big selling point for that age group.

What I'm trying to say Nintendo is stick with what got you here. Challenging Microsoft and Sony is like an 8-year old trying to pick a fight with his 16-year old brother, brave to be sure but not really a good idea.


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Anonymous said...

I for one think that you are terribly mistaken. Not all gamers are solely interested in shooters and violence. This system is not trying to compete with either the xbox or ps3 solely based on its price point. The other aspect that you fail to note in your post is that there are a LOT of gamers that run multiple platforms. The gamecube controller can be used on the Wii as well so you are not limited to the new "remote". I think that Nintendo has seriously stepped up with this one and this platform will probably do better in the US than the 360 will do in the Asian market.

Skywise said...

Wow.. it didn't seem to fall by the wayside, even for jaded industry insiders, during the entire week of E3. Where people could freely visit Sony and MS's massive booths, Nintendo had a 6 hour wait. All week.

And it's the "Wii-Mote".. the add on piece with the analog stick is the 'nun-chuk' controller. There's also a 'conventional' controller with D-pad and analog control.

If your 12 year old is playing Resident Evil, you should be paying more attention to the ESRB tags on the games he or she buys.

And what possible risks did Microsoft make when they came into the game market? I'd say their only innovation was an internal hard drive - the online play was mainstreamed by Sega for their Dreamcast. Most of MS's offerings were cookie cutter from other things other companies did (SSX vs Amped, Madden vs NFL Fever, etc.)

Also, in this day and age, most people do own multiple consoles. if you want HD, and the top-end graphics, and HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, then yes, Xbox or PS3 is for you - if you want retro games, the innovation Nintendo's known for, and aren't too picky about your games being in 1080P with 7.1 surround, then the Wii's looking pretty darn good for $250 or less.

Terry "coloradojoe" Terrones said...

Wow, looks like I hit a nerve here. While I certainly respect your opinons, I stand by what I wrote.

Don't for a second think that Nintendo isn't trying to compete with the PS3 or the Xbox 360 just because they're product is less expensive. They are full on involved in this console war, Iwata-san has said as much in interviews (not that he seems overly concerned).

I've also heard about the long lines at the Nintendo booths but as with most gimmicks, people are curious and want to know what all the fuss is about. Its only natural. Are long lines at an E3 booth some kind of econmic indicator for the Wii? Maybe. But I'm still skeptical and as I mentioned earlier, I view it as an Eye Toy-like accessory - more interesting to kids than adults.

As for Microsoft, despite the fact they are a major corporation, they took a HUGE gamble when they entered a market which had two well established market leaders already in place. They could have easily fell on their face and if it weren't for Halo and Xbox Live, Microsoft would never have had the stones to make the Xbox 360. Yeah, they stole the Dreamcast online network but that to me show's how much they believed in online play and have since been proven correct. Sony has dragged their feet for years when it comes to online gaming and when they eventually do make some kind of online commitment, guess who they're going to be copying?

Multiple consoles? Sure, after the console price drop.

With all that being said, let me set you Nintendo fanboys straight because you are missing my point - I think the Wii will be a fine gaming system. They are a gaming company, GAMING! While the PS3 and Xbox 360 try to be everything (CD Player, iPod player, DVD Player,etc.) to everyone, Nintendo focuses on games. And that is perfectly fine. But because of that, they can't compete with Sony and Microsoft. There's a reason why most people could afford a Wii after buying one of the other major consoles - they're not in the same class. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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Skywise said...

Class or not, I hardly see Nintendo failing. I'm far from a Nintendo fanboy. Sure, I own all current Nintendo consoles, but I own all current MS and Sony consoles too (except for a PSP that was stolen and I didn't bother to replace.)

Nintendo is a niche market here, sure. Most people don't want to be associated with 'kiddie' games, regardless of gameplay. What people don't realize is gameplay is equally important to graphics. Given another "Kameo" for 360, for example, vs a Mario game for the Wii, I'd go for the proven game and name, because I know that Mario games have been pretty quality for some time.

All that being said, of the 'higher end' consoles, MS is gonna destroy Sony, in the US at least. And Japanese gamers are already saying they'll buy Wii over PS3 (check for a link.)

I guess I'm not saying that Wii's gonna rule the world, but I do think the folks saying PS3 will are mistaken. That being said, I'll probably end up with a PS3 - after the price drop.

Alpha|Male said...

Wow! You are a fuckin' dumbass. This is the most arrogant post you have made. Nintendo is changing that image and for some reason you can't tell yet.

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